Dear Millersville University Community,
As I look through my office window this summer, I often see groups of parents and prospective students walking across our beautiful campus. Their presence is a reminder of the energy that our campus emits when the sidewalks and pathways are filled with thousands of students. I can’t wait to see this level of energy return to our campus in a few weeks. I hope that you are finding time to fit in some well-deserved rest and relaxation this summer, but I also hope that, like me, your mind is beginning to turn to the fall and the renewed energy that it will bring.
A few reminders for the fall; remember that we want you to Be Safe, which begins with getting vaccinated. We also want you to Be Empowered, which includes having a plan for our employees to return to campus and, for our students, your continued success at Millersville. We want you to Be Innovative at work and in the classroom by leveraging the return to campus to learn, grow and inspire others. Most of all, we want you to Be EPPIIC by exploring and contributing to a renewed campus life while showing compassion and support for others as they join us.
In this month’s newsletter, we learn about summer renovations and other projects occurring on campus in preparation for the fall. I have also highlighted an exciting and unique project to digitize 30 years of news footage from WGAL. We hear about two new academic programs, a Master of Education degree focused on special education and a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences. Ten retired faculty are recognized with emeritus status for their extended service to our University. Lastly, we look to the fall with a peek at plans for a “Swan Drop” during Homecoming weekend.
I hope that these stories provide an enjoyable summer read and look forward to sharing more news of recent successes and plans for the future in the weeks ahead.
Daniel A. Wubah
Summer Renovations at Millersville
One of the constants on most university campuses during the summer is a cacophony of construction noise. As we prepare for the return of students for the fall semester, our campus is buzzing with such noise due to several ongoing projects. Below, I share a few of these projects.
- The Student Memorial Center will get a new card access system for certain entrances that will automate the locking and unlocking of the SMC.
- New lighting fixtures and a sound system will be installed at the Carpenter-Trout Strength Center.
- With renovations completed at Dilworth, Payroll moved to the west side of the building and opened up space for training purposes.
- A water distribution upgrade will add two additional test wells to provide redundancy for the current well.
- The Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum is getting sound-dampening HVAC modifications.
- Buildings across campus will be upgraded to comply with new IT security protocols.
- Renovations in Osburn Hall will allow for the installation of a new ESKO plotter-cutter system, a machine that can be used to cut through various materials and fabricate simulated packaging, for students in the Packaging Engineering Technology program.
- Breidenstine Hall will soon have a new fabrication lab.
- Dutcher Hall now has a new Entertainment Technology Studio on the second floor.
- The Unity Plots are receiving landscaping.
- New flashing lights, signs and road striping will be installed at the intersection of West Frederick Street and Shenks Lane.
- McComsey Hall is getting new benches and chairs for students to gather.
- The Fiat Lux Society will have a donor recognition wall and walkway northeast of the Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum that runs parallel to George Street.
Film Digitization Project Gives Students Glimpse Into the Past
This summer, WGAL and Millersville University are continuing our partnership to preserve history-making moments of the past. The digitization project, first announced in the fall of 2019, involves converting films from old footage that made the headlines on WGAL from 1949 to 1979 into electronic files. It is likely that this film archive contains rare footage of historical events in central Pennsylvania that may have been forgotten.
Once digitized, the film clips will be put on a cloud server for long-term storage. As the project advances, the collection will be searchable and curated clips will be available to the public to view via the University’s digital collections at https://millersville.tind.io/.
Thousands of film clips were examined by the MU Archives and Special Collections Department to select those that need attention. The films contain footage of local interest, such as the Farm Show in Harrisburg and the York Fair. These films also provide a regional lens for important national movements such as a Vietnam prisoner of war’s homecoming and the 1969 York, PA protests against racism and police violence. We expect the film archive to provide critical insight into the history of our region.
Recent MU graduate Adam Omar was hired to work on the project as his first job out of college. He is using a specialized film scanner to digitize the film to ensure that these moments are preserved.
Student learning is at the center of the project. MU plans to create an interdisciplinary project team of student interns to work on the preservation and digitization of the archive. Students will help with everything from inventorying the film to developing a scanning process and preparing the film for the in-house digitization process.
For more on the project, click here Digitization Project.
New Program Promotes Excellence in Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences
Millersville University recently announced the creation of a new Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences (EEOS) with concentrations in Environmental Geology, Environmental Ocean Sciences and Environmental Earth Sciences. Students will start enrolling in the new degree this fall. The new EEOS degree replaces five traditional earth sciences programs with a contemporary curriculum that will engage students in hands-on field and laboratory-intensive activities that will train them to solve today’s complex environmental problems.
EEOS students will gain technical expertise in investigative methods and practical experience in communicating environmental science to both novice and professional audiences. Graduates of the environmental geology concentration meet the necessary curricular requirements to be eligible for professional licensure; graduates of the BS EEOS program will be able to immediately step into a variety of careers, including:
- Environmental Scientist
- Environmental Monitoring Specialist
- Geologist/Field Geologist
- Watershed Manager
- Remote Sensing/Geodetic Surveying Specialist
- Coastal Geologist
- Marine Policy Specialist
- Government Research Scientist
- Coastal Resources Analyst
- Environmental Educator
The new inclusive degree will be accessible to students from a variety of backgrounds and provide flexibility in course requirements so that students may explore their environmental interests.
New Master’s Program Focuses on Accomplished Teachers
Millersville University is now offering a new Master of Education degree focused on special education for accomplished teachers. The program was recently revamped with an emphasis on producing outstanding special education teachers. Although it is not required, it is recommended that students in the program have at least three years of special education teaching experience.
The program was officially updated two years ago after the University recognized the need for a program for special education teachers looking to continue their education after already being placed in a career.
Many of the new classes within the program focus on advanced topics such as leadership, collaboration and research. The classes use a hybrid approach to give students time to implement their new skills in their own classrooms.
One of the biggest changes to the program is that rather than completing a thesis or field placement, students in the program will experience a specialized capstone activity.
Dr. Richard Mehrenberg says the program is designed to foster excellence in the special education classroom. He explains that the thesis is a culminating activity more beneficial for someone pursuing a career as a professor or formal researcher.
For the capstone activity, each student is paired with an advisor who works with them to identify strengths, interests and goals. Together, an individual plan is written and created to allow the candidate to demonstrate their mastery of the program’s objectives.
Mariel DeLuca was the first graduate of the program. While under the supervision of Dr. Janet Josephson, DeLuca put together several in-service opportunities for other student teachers.
Dr. Mehrenberg says that few master's programs focus solely on supporting accomplished teachers. Millersville's graduate curriculum is designed to take special education teachers to the next level. It complements and builds upon the fundamentals introduced in our undergraduate program.
Exceptional students deserve exceptional teachers. More information can be found about this program here.
Emeriti Faculty Collectively Served for Over Three Centuries
Millersville University’s Council of Trustees recently voted to approve 10 faculty members for emeritus status. The following faculty members have a combined 323 years of experience educating students at MU.
Dr. Ximena Catepillán
Dr. Catepillán served as a faculty member of the Department of Mathematics at Millersville University since 1991, a total of 29 years.
Dr. Frederick Foster-Clark
Dr. Foster-Clark, Professor of Psychology, retired in July 2020 following 31 years of dedicated and distinguished service to Millersville University.
Dr. Mary Hendricks Glazier
Dr. Glazier, former Director of the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, served on the faculty in the Department of Criminology, Sociology and Anthropology for 32 years (1988-2020).
Dr. Claudia Haferkamp
Dr. Haferkamp, Associate Professor of Psychology, retired in August 2020 following 28 years of dedicated and distinguished service to Millersville University.
Dr. Gerard Igyor
Dr. Igyor retired in June 2020 after 27 years of distinguished teaching, advising, research and service in the Department of Communication and Theatre.
Dr. Bruce Ikenaga
Dr. Ikenaga served as a faculty member of the Mathematics Department of Millersville University since 1994, a total of 26 years.
Dr. Manwoo Lee
Dr. Lee, Professor of Government and Political Affairs, retired in 2012, after 43 distinguished years on the faculty of Millersville University.
Dr. Blaise Liffick
Dr. Liffick served in the Department of Computer Science at Millersville University for 39 years (August 1981 – May 2020).
Dr. Ronald Umble
Dr. Umble served as a faculty member of the Mathematics Department of Millersville University since 1984, a total of 35 years.
Dr. Keith Wiley
Dr. Wiley served the Tell School of Music at Millersville University for 36 years (1984-2020), the longest-serving Music Department faculty member in the history of the University.
Millersville Swan Drop to Raise Money for Pond Restorations
The pond at Millersville University is an iconic part of our campus landscape. Home to Millersville’s resident swans, Miller and S’Ville, it is a notable landmark for students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors. Maintaining the pristine appearance of the pond is essential. In an effort to raise funds for critical restoration, we will host our first Swan Drop fundraiser as part of the 2021 Homecoming festivities.
When students, faculty and community members donate toward the restoration effort, they will receive a rubber swan that will be dropped from a crane onto a target during Millersville’s Homecoming festivities. Prizes will include University swag and access to exclusive virtual events.
Gift levels range from $10 for one swan to $1,855 for a memorial paver and 20 swans. The paver options provide donors an opportunity to permanently memorialize their gift and express the impact Millersville has made on them. The bricks and pavers will include an inscription and be installed around the pond. The inaugural Swan Drop will apply a unique approach to engaging the University community in preserving the beautiful appearance of our campus pond.
Find out more at millersville.edu/swandrop.
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